Visitation dreams are not simply dreams of loved ones. They are extremely vivid experiences that some describe as feeling ‘ultra-real’. In an article in Psychology Today, Dr. Patrick McNamara described the feeling of the visitation dreams he had. He wrote, “My father and mother died over a decade ago and about one year apart. Approximately 6 months after each death, I had at least one vivid dream with one or both of them in it. In both cases the dream did not feel like the typical run of the mill dream. Instead the dream had a kind of hyper-real intensity to it. I felt that I had been touched or visited or communicated with.” (1)
Sometimes our deceased relatives visit to comfort us and to let us know that they are fine on the other side. They usually look younger than they were when they passed, vibrantly healthy and happy. Some visitation dreams contain information to prove that what we had was actually a visitation and not just a regular dream. For example, my cousin Susan had an amazing visitation dream about her mother, my Aunt Florence.
After my mother died I kept saying to myself, ‘I wish she would tell me that she’s OK’. Then one night in December I had what I know was a visit from her. I saw her standing against a plain wall and she was wearing black satin pajamas, which was not her style at all! She would never have worn black satin pajamas. She was very young, somewhere in her 30s. Her hair was black and teased like they did back in the 60s. She looked beautiful and she just smiled at me. I said to her, “I’m so happy to see you! I didn’t think I would see you again.” And she said, “I’m so happy”. She was glowing and smiling from ear to ear, that is the only way I can describe it. Then I woke up. The next day I visited my mom’s sister, my aunt Dorothy, and I told her about the dream. She took me out to her car, and in the back of the car she had a pair of black silky pajamas that she had bought for me for Christmas! I’ll never forget that as long as I live.
Another way that spirits reach out to us is through our five senses, particularly through the sense of smell. Our sense of smell is the sense that is most closely linked with memory and emotion in our brains. Spirits cause us to sense certain smells because they are aware that smells conjure vivid memories and emotions. I have experienced this first-hand on many occasions. Several years after my mother passed away, I was at home when I noticed a strong smell of perfume. It was the same perfume that my mother had worn. The smell was isolated to one small area of my foyer. I could actually walk through the area, smell the perfume, and walk out the other side and the smell would be gone. This perfume smell lasted about 15 minutes before fading away completely.
My ex-wife Judy reminded me of a visitation that occurred when our daughter Carly was born. The umbilical cord had been wrapped around Carly’s neck, so as soon as she was born she was whisked away by the doctors. While we were waiting for to the doctors to tell us if she was OK, Judy suddenly smelled cigarette smoke and immediately knew that it was her father who had died three weeks earlier. My father-in-law had been a heavy smoker. I have also smelled cigarette smoke in my home, even though no one in my family smokes. Like the perfume, the smell of smoke is confined to a small area. I associate the cigarette smell with my ex-wife’s father and when I smell it I know that he is making it clear that he is around.
A friend of mine, Carolyn, relayed a story about a visitation from the spirit of her deceased sister, Ann. Ann had been a heavy smoker, and a few days after the fourth anniversary of her passing, Carolyn and her family began smelling cigarette smoke. Keep in mind, no one in the family smokes. At home, the smell of smoke was so strong that Carolyn’s daughter came home from college and asked her mother if she had taken up smoking! Another day, Carolyn went shopping with her sister’s good friend, Lisa. When they got back to the car it smelled ‘like six people had been smoking in there’, and they couldn’t get rid of the smell. When Carolyn dropped Lisa off at her hotel, Lisa went up to the front desk and the person behind the counter reminded her that smoking wasn’t allowed in the hotel rooms. She doesn’t even smoke! Carolyn’s sister was telling Lisa that she was around by creating a smell of cigarette smoke in her hotel room!
Sometimes we are actually touched by our loved ones. There are many reports of people feeling as if they are being hugged by their deceased loved ones, or that their hair is stroked, or a hand is held. In all cases, the person experiencing this touch knows right away who it is who is reaching out to them.
I wanted to end this portion of the newsletter with an email I received. I had reached out to my Facebook friends asking for people’s personal stories of visitation dreams and experiences. Susan Parker was kind enough to respond with a beautiful set of stories, each having a different ‘method’ of contact.
My first story began on January 6, 2000. I found out that my grandma had just died and I started crying and telling her that I love her and how much I was going to miss her, and then all of a sudden I felt a coldness beside me, and then I felt her touch my right arm just for a second and she was gone. I know that my grandma was telling me goodbye.
My second story began after my grandpa died on on December 2, 2004. He came to me in a dream. In the dream, I’m seeing him in his casket at first and then I'm seeing him in front of me, wearing a long white gown and he looked much younger. I had never seen him this young and handsome before. He said, “Susan I need to show you something,” so I followed him to a tunnel of light and I saw the most prettiest blue light that I had ever seen. I can't describe how beautiful it was. Then my grandpa said to me, “Susan, when your time comes, I will be right here waiting for you,” and I said, “Thank you paw paw, I love you and I can't wait to be with you again some day.” And then I woke up.
My third story began after my half-brother died on Thanksgiving day of 2008. He came to me in my dream. I could see myself lying in my bed, and then my brother knocked on my door and said, “Sissy are you up?” I said, “Yeah I'm still up,” so he came into my room and in a very happy kind of way, he plopped down on my bed and said, “Sissy I know what you've been going thru and I need to tell you that it's going to be alright” I said, “Thank you bro, I really needed to hear that.” Then asked him if he was in a better place and if he was happy and at peace now. He said, “Yes I am sissy, and I love you.” I told him how happy I was to hear that, and that I loved him too. He gave me one last hug right before I woke up.
My fourth story happened after my sister died on February 24, 2015. I haven't had any dreams of her but she did make her presence known. It happened in my dad's room at the nursing home where he was living at. He was at the last stage of his life in the dying process. He was aware that I was with him, and he held my hand to his chest. I kept his lips moist with a sponge, and then he started getting fidgety so they had to sedate him. After that I stayed by his side for a over an hour. My husband and I were sitting in my dad's room all alone, when all of a sudden, we heard the noise from the motion activated paper towel dispenser. I got up and looked at the dispenser and there was a paper towel hanging there to grab! My husband and I figured it out that it had to have been my sister, that waved her hand in front of that paper towel dispenser, to let us know that it was almost time for my dad to pass away. After that we decided to go home and the nurse called us to come back about 45 minutes after we left, to tell me that my dad had just died. So we figured that my dad was waiting for me to leave so that he could pass away. I know for sure that my sister was there with our dad that day, all because of that paper tower dispenser! I will never forget about that as long as I live!!!
I've also smelled the scent of a man's cologne while I was sitting outside! But I have no idea of who it was in front of me. Recently I've smelled the scent of my sister's perfume right in front of me, while I was laying in my bed. I believe that she was telling me that she's here with us right now, and that she's watching over our mom because my mom is living with us now. My mom has been battling lung cancer since May of 2017, so I know that it's just a matter of time, that my sister will back to give me a sign that our mom is fixing to pass away.